Leverstock Green finally put and end to their run of defeats and got back to winning ways in Tuesday night’s SSML Premier Division encounter with FC Broxbourne Borough.
Paul Faulkner’s side has worked hard for the last six games only to get no reward, so a win was long overdue and deserved from an all-round excellent team performance, although it went down to the wire and the visitors might have snatched a point with the last kick of the game.
Changes have been made to the squad since Saturday, with Chinua Phinn-Archer and Dale Small having transferred from Colney Heath, and experienced goalkeeper Sam Mazurek signing on and returning to the club where he played his first senior game at the age of 16.
Phinn-Archer made a dream start to his Leverstock career as he headed home Louis Bircham’s corner in the sixth minute to give his side an early 1-0 lead.
There were few chances in the first half, though, with the only near-miss coming in the 36th minute. Bircham made a run at goal and drilled a shot from a narrow angle which hit the inside of the post and rebounded back across goal into the arms of keeper Adam Seymour.
Leverstock took their 1-0 lead into the break, but a dreadful start to the second half saw them relinquish the lead quickly.
Broxbourne attacked straight from the kick-off against a Green side that hadn’t switched on in time, and Liam O’Keefe put through his own net to level the scores with just 12 seconds on the clock.
Broxbourne should have gone in front on 59 minutes when a ball over the top put Charncey Dash clean through. With Mazurek not coming coming out of his goal Dash had a big target to aim at but shot wide.
Instead, five minutes later it was Leverstock who went back in front. A cross to the far post found Bircham, who took on a defender before pulling the ball back from the bye-line for Reece McArthur, who finished well with a shot into the top corner of the net.
Now it was a case of Leverstock holding out for the points, which required them to dig deep over the closing minutes as Broxbourne put on the pressure.
In the 86th minute a cross to the far post found Adam Murad with a great chance, but Mazurek pulled off an excellent save to turn his shot wide.
In the 5th minute of stoppage time Broxbourne won a free kick, which saw keeper Seymour coming up to the Green box. The free-kick was cleared for a corner, and Seymour stayed up the field.
A header from the corner brought a brilliant reflex save out of Mazurek, but it could still have been for nothing as the rebound came back into play. The player it dropped for, though, was Seymour and he lunged at the ball but put it over the bar.
The final whistle came straight afterwards to the immense relief of the home contingent, and Leverstock had collected a much-needed three points. Next up is a visit to Cockfosters on Saturday.
Leverstock Green: 1. Sam Mazurek, 2. Gavin Smith, 3. Liam O’Keefe, 4. Joe Horwood, 5. James Budden, 6. Timi Salako, 7. Jack Halcomb, 8. Reece McArthur (15. Jack Gilmartin 76 mins), 9. Louis Bircham, 10. Chinua Phinn-Archer (16. John Smith 90+2 mins), 11. Chris Blunden. Subs not used: 12. Dale Small, 14. Lee Faulkner, 17. Callum Woods.
FC Broxbourne Borough: 1. Adam Seymour, 2. Daniel Billson (15. Rian Carroll 67 mins), 3. Fred Dooling, 4. John Megicks (14. Ryan Wade 43 mins), 5. Kendal Allen, 6. Shaun Flaherty, 7. Luke Strahan (16. Tom Oram 77 mins), 8. Mark Brennan, 9. Charncey Dash, 10. Lee Brennan, 11. Adam Murad. Sub not used: 12. Matt Thompson.